Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tiny houses and profiting from your home

I have always had a fascination with tiny houses and the people who chose to call them home. I really believe I could live this husband is not so sure! To the left is a picture of Ms. de la Vega,  who chose to convert her garage into a home and rent out her "big house" after she went through a divorce. She said:

“At that time I was coming out of the ashes, and knew I needed to come up with a good survival strategy for starting over as a single person.”

To generate a steady income, she decided to rent out the main house and turn the squat, diminutive garage into her home. And rather than hiring someone else to supervise the renovation, she was the general contractor.

“I was somewhat out of my mind,” she said. “But it was also fantastic. I was hiring, firing and contending with men and their power tools for a good nine months.” Her decision paid off. The entire renovation cost only $32,000.

I think this is just the coolest thing!

Obviously, this worked for wouldn't for most of us.  On the other end of the spectrum...could you turn your garage into an apartment to rent? When Mike and I were first married, we rented an above the garage one bedroom apartment while I finished college. The owners were an elderly couple who also had a tiny one room apartment attached to the back of their house, and they rented a bedroom in their house. Smart folks! They charged a very reasonable rate as they were right next to the college and just wanted to help out students. It was a blessing to us and them.

We have a cabin in Maine that we stay in for one month out of the summer. Because we are so far away, I was very hesitant to rent, but tried a trial run on (vacation rental by owner) last summer. It costs $250.00 a year to list. I figured if I made enough for the advertising and to pay the taxes and insurance, it would be worth it. I did. So, I'll try one more year. I pay my friend who lives across the road there to mow and clean. We'll take it a year at a time.

We also host a foreign student in our home. Many of these students (mostly Asian) are coming to the US for private schooling (they can't attend our public schools) and they pay a stipend to host in essence you rent out a room in your home. Approximately $400.00 a month can be tax free as it is considered reasonable cost for room and board. This has been a real blessing to us also. If you live near a college, you might want to consider advertising a room for rent.

And then there's always the "buy a duplex" in one half and rent the other. Live rent free!! With the foreclosure market at its current'll probably find a renter quicker than a buyer!

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